Paris 2023

Monday, September 4

We took the Eurostar high-speed train from London to Paris. The train ride was smooth, but we arrived at rush hour in Paris, which caused a bit of a rough start. After figuring out 1) how to use the toilets 2) what tickets we needed and 3) where to go for the Metro, we got to the apartment where we were staying. We had been trying to contact the owner, and when we finally got in touch with him, found out the apartment was not available due to bed bugs! We had to find a hotel for the night and he was able to get us another place for the remainder of the week. Got settled in and still made it to the Paris by Night Tour. Found a nice little cafe to grab some dinner and a much-needed beer after.

Paris by Night Bus Tour


Italian in Paris? Why not?

Tuesday, September 5

Luxembourg Gardens

HOT day in Paris – 33°C (That’s about 92°F)!

Walked down to Luxembourg Gardens and had a nice breakfast of Parisian pastries and coffee. We wandered around the park and looked at a handful of the 106 statues!


Headed back to the French Pantheon and spent a couple of hours there. We then grabbed a quick lunch at an Italian-style pizza shop, then headed back to the hotel to meet the VRBO owner to go to the other property.

Tuileries Gardens

Dropped off stuff and headed back out – first stop Tuileries Gardens. My favorites – are the “I forgot my pants!” and “Did I use deodorant?” statues!

Petit Palais (Museum of Fine Arts)

From there we went down the street to Petite Palace (a museum of fine art). By that time, we were melting and the air conditioning of the building was bliss!

Alexander Bridge

River Cruise

Had to stop and buy some expensive pants because we realized they didn’t allow shorts on the Seine River dining cruise we were headed to! The dinner on the River cruise was nice, met some people from California whom we had some nice conversations with, and saw lots of bridges and some of the buildings and museums from the river.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Palais Garnier Opera House

Another busy day in Paris yesterday. First, the Palais Garnier (Paris Opera House) – the main auditorium was closed, but the rest of the building was amazing and so beautiful!


Took an Uber over to the the Conciergerie, where they had an augmented reality tour on an iPad showing the many lives of this building, from part of the original palace to royal courthouse, to prison – which famously held Marie-Antoinette.

Sainte Chapelle

Then next door to Sainte-Chapelle with its over 1000 stained glass scenes! This chapel was built to hold King Louis IX’s religious artifacts, including the Crown of Thorns – it was kept there until being moved to Notre Dame after the French Revolution. Thankfully, it was saved during the Notre Dame fire of April 2019.

Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris

We then walked to the other end of the island to see the reconstruction of Notre Dame. They’ve done a lot of work, but there is a LOT more to do. Seeing the soot covering the stained glass windows is depressing, but at least it wasn’t all lost.

Latin Quarter

A couple stops at bars in the Latin Quarter (George’s and the Piano Bar) on the way back to our apartment before dinner at La Poule au Pot – an authentic French restaurant.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Louvre Museum

Last full day in Paris! Started with the Louvre. We knew it was big, but OMG! The layout of the building is like a labyrinth with staircases going up and down half levels and the buildings themself are a work of art with different designs and building styles between galleries.

It’s a running joke at amusement parks and attractions that you always exit through a gift shop. Well, the Louvre is no exception, except you exit into an entire mall! Walking out, we saw a shop called Iris Gallery that takes a picture of your iris that you can get printed on various mediums and styles. These are mine and Betsy’s irises combined into a uniquely personal piece of art.

Lunch at La Crêperie

After about four hours at the Louvre, we stopped and got some crepes for lunch -not exactly what I think of when I say crepes, but they were delicious!

Sacre Coeur Basilica

We took the Metro up to Basilica du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre (church of the Sacred Heart on top of a 420′ hill! 306 steps to get up there!). Beautiful church with lots of stained glass, paintings, and reliefs.

Petite Fleur

After touring the chapel, we went down the street to Place du Tertre, a cafe-lined square & hangout for artists painting visitors’ portraits. We then went back down the mountain and found a bar “Le Mayday” (named after Rob’s band from the 90s) on our way to dinner at Petite Fleur. On our way back to the apartment to pack up, we crossed a bridge that went over the Montmartre Cemetery – I wish we had time to explore it – it looked like it had lots of amazing statues and tombs.

Friday, September 8, 2023

Paris Gare de Lyon

Up early to head to the train station. It’ll be a nice 6-hour ride and maybe we can get some work done on this blog! 🙂

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